Mark Silverman discusses the value of a statistical life, Amy Sinden argues against a one-size-fits all approach to regulatory analysis, and John N. Robinson III reflects on the necessity and illusion of public things in a democratic capitalist society.Continue Reading
Can public things meaningfully protect us from capitalism’s bottom line? If not, is our hope in them as a lever of progressive politics misplaced?
Neither Congress nor the Court have called for a one-size-fits-all approach to regulatory analysis, yet CBA continues to loom large in environmental policymaking. Agencies should reach for other tools that better capture the advantages and disadvantages of regulatory alternatives.
Economists who insist that the “value of a statistical life” can be determined solely by looking at the preferences of individual economic agents in a market overstate their case and miss crucial alternatives. The pandemic has shown that democratic determinations of value for non-market goods (like human life) deserve greater consideration.
Three views about the costs of cost-benefit analysis, a panel about how to vaccinate the world, and an upcoming event you won’t want to miss!
While treating economic growth as the summum bonum of public policy may reflect the preferences of economists, large majorities of voters across the political spectrum oppose using the aim of wealth maximization to guide regulatory decision-making. The time has come to abandon cost-benefit analysis and adopt a progressive approach to regulatory analysis.
Two examples from the experience of people living with disabilities demonstrate CBA’s shortcomings.
CBA’s reliance on a “partial equilibrium” falls apart under the weight of real-world complexity. Rather than attempting to reform cost-benefit analysis, OIRA should reject it outright.
Zachary Liscow offers three strategies for bringing distribution into cost-benefit analysis, Elizabeth Popp Berman calls on liberals to politicize CBA, and Stacy Seicshnaydre discusses the untapped potential of the fair housing act. Plus, a bevy of new LPE events!
The Fair Housing Act, as written, provides several tools to challenge inequitable urban development. Yet the courts have been reluctant to enforce the law.
Conservatives have used cost-benefit analysis much more strategically than liberals to advance underlying political goals. Rethinking CBA within an LPE framework will require not only critique of its technical assumptions, but a willingness to be similarly strategic in thinking about its deployment.
Standard cost-benefit analysis exacerbates inequality by assigning greater weight to benefits that accrue to the rich. But it need not. Here are three strategies for bringing concerns about distribution within the CBA framework.
Frank Pasquale introduces a symposium on the future of cost-benefit analysis, Lisa Heinzerling explains how cost-benefit analysis limits ambitious action on climate change and racial justice, and Dedrick Asante-Muhammad discusses the institutional racism of municipal bonds.
Elite white capital created housing for middle-class whites built by working-class whites. Nowhere in this process, nor in the profit of lending, the employment of housing construction, or the long-term appreciation of white homeownership, was there a meaningful place for African Americans to bridge racial economic inequality.
Two entrenched features of cost-benefit analysis ensure that the benefits of regulatory measures addressing climate change and racial injustice will be diminished and deformed in the process of valuing them: discounting and monetary valuation.
Introducing an LPE symposium on the promise, the perils, and the possible future of cost-benefit analysis.
- Amna Akbar
- Corinne Blalock
- Angela P. Harris
- Luke Herrine
- Amy Kapczynski
- Sanjukta Paul
- Kate Redburn
- Noah Zatz